Volume 2 (2013)
Paul L. Danove
Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
This article develops five features that describe the conceptualizations of the event of transference grammaticalized by New Testament verbs, and uses these features to formulate a model of the possible New Testament usages of transference. The discussion resolves all New Testament occurrences of verbs that designate transference into one of eighteen usages with distinct feature descriptions, and considers the usages of transference predicted by the feature model but not realized in the New Testament.
Keywords: feature, transference, semantic, syntactic, verbal usage
Jonathan M. Watt
Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA, USA
Diminuted word forms in the Greek New Testament have much in common with their counterparts in other languages, and typically convey smallness, slightness, affection, or derogation. In some cases their meanings are “faded” or “bleached” and do not convey anything different from the base form of the word, as happens also in other languages. Diminutive usage can express solidarity and common values in certain speech communities, and may be doing so in some New Testament passages.
Keywords: diminutives, affixation, sociolinguistics, theory of language
Stanley E. Porter
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
The utility of the lexical semantic theory of monosemy is demonstrated. Negative associations with θαυμάζω in Mark 6:6 and Luke 11:38 are due to co-textual features and not inherent to the word itself.
Keywords: monosemy, polysemy, θαυμάζω, Mark 6:6, Luke 11:38, co-text
Gregory P. Fewster
Hamilton, ON, Canada
Where does text fit into a theory of social identity? Social groups consistently emerge and maintain their existence in relation to (sacred) texts: Christians with their Bible, Muslims with the Qu’ran, or socialists with Das Kapital. This is neither new nor surprising in- formation. Critics are intensely aware of how individuals and groups engage in ongoing processes of identification in relation to the sacred text. In this article, I explore the relationship between social context and text and the constructive potential between the two. What are mechanisms that trigger and maintain social change vis-à-vis text and how can these dynamics be productively analyzed? It has become popular to invoke certain constructivist views of social dynamics and, in particular, to marshal the notion of “identity” as a powerful means for social-boundary maintenance and change. In relation to that pro- pensity, this article is meant as an assessment of methodologies that may be equal to this task, touching on various theories of language and the construction of social identity, followed by exploration of a particularly promising avenue developing from theories of ecosocial semiotics.
Keywords: semiotics, identity, text, relativity, context, ecosocial, eucharist
Hughson Ong
McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON, Canada
This article applies various sociolinguistic and multi- lingualism theories to analyze the linguistic situation of the episodes of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, and trial in Matt 26:36–27:26. It demon- strates that the linguistic complexities of a multilingual society, in which Jesus lived, must have warranted the use of language varieties in various sociolinguistic contexts, in order for people from various social groups to interact with and accommodate each other. Thus, against Loren Stuckenbruck’s assertion, in a recent essay “‘Semitic Influence on Greek’: An Authenticating Criterion in Jesus Research?” in Jesus, Criteria, and the Demise of Authenticity, that “For historical Jesus research, linguistic analysis does not and cannot stand on its own” (94), this article otherwise contends that an episode, saying, or action of Jesus, independent of other criteria, may be deemed authentic without resorting to detection of a Semitic Vorlage behind the Greek text to signal “authentic material.”
Keywords: Matt 26:36–27:26; sociolinguistics, multilingualism, historical Jesus, criteria, authenticity, language